CBD works to help maintain our bodies’ healthy state of balance and internal stability. It’s widely used to ease aches, discomfort and pain, as a sleep aid, and help with everyday wellness. For those new to cannabidiol (CBD), there are many questions. How do I know which CBD product is right for me? What do the different milligram numbers mean? One of the more frequent questions about is, “does CBD support mental health?”

A 2020 study suggests CBD may help encourage calmness, as 70% of its participants reported feeling calmer and experiencing stress reduction while using it. There were also patients who had no benefit. And others in this study experienced negative side effects. While numerous studies like this one suggest CBD might have mental health benefits, there is still not enough conclusive scientific evidence to prove it. More research is needed to investigate the potential use of CBD in mental health management.

This may not be the clear answer you’re looking for. However, this does not mean CBD can’t be helpful. It’s just that for you to know how it affects your mental health, you may have to consult with a doctor. Then try it for yourself. Note any changes, both positive and negative. When it comes to your mental health, consider CBD to be supplemental aid (at the most) in your mental health journey.

mental health awareness month

Mental Health Awareness

1 out of every 5 people in the United States experiences mental health illness (NAMI). That’s millions of people struggling with emotional, psychological and social well-being issues right now. So just know, if you are struggling with your mental health you are not alone. And recovery can be a reality.

  • Need immediate help in a crisis? Call 911 if there is immediate danger.
  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline  The Lifeline provides 24-hour, confidential support to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Call or text 988 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Speak with a mental health professional. You can find one through many resources, like your insurance company and state, or county, agencies.
  • Connect with friends and loved ones.

Through these connections you can map out the causes of your concerns. Before you can consider CBD to help support your mental health journey, it’s best to understand what you need. Therefore, it’s best to seek support. A drop of oil will not make your issues, or concerns, disappear. So it is best to first build a foundation from where you want to recover from.

Make a decision to seek help. It will be empowering.

After you have put together a good support system for yourself, spoken with your doctor, or medical professional, and are considering CBD as part of your mental health strategy, first thing to understand is that CBD is not a cure-all. While many people report experiencing mental health benefits from a CBD regimen, there is not conclusive scientific evidence that proves this as a fact.

What is CBD

CBD tincture on table

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound that comes from industrial hemp leaves, stalks, and flowers. By Federal Law, this industrial hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC. So there is no associated high with CBD.

“CBD is also a particular type of phytocannabinoid – one of the several identified phytocannabinoids found in Cannabis sativa, including others such as cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG). A phytocannabinoid is a cannabinoid that synthesizes in plants organically, and conversely, an endocannabinoid is one that our bodies naturally produce. Endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids react to the same type of receptors stretched throughout the human body, which is why phytocannabinoids are particularly useful.” cbdMD


  • Will I Get “High” from Using CBD? No, there’s no “high” or euphoric effect as a result of using hemp-derived CBD.

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

The Endocannabinoid System

“The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a biological system in the human body involved in establishing and maintaining human health. In each tissue, the endocannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment. Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at every level of biological life.” Healer

The ECS regulates the function of the immune, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and thus has a profound influence on every aspect of our health, including mood and anxiety.

CBD may enhance the activity of the ECS and act on several other physiologic targets involved in health and healing.

CBD’s versatile benefits correlate with the critical role that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays in our health.

CBD and Mental Health

The study mentioned earlier looked at how CBD encouraged calmness by interacting with the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R), and other receptors in the brain that regulate fear and anxiety-induced behaviors. 70% of patients reported

  • Feeling calmer
  • Stress reduction
  • Feeling stable

Those patients gave a level of satisfaction from good to excellent. There were also patients who had no benefit. And others in this study experienced negative side effects, some of which include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Reduced appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue

The study authors also reported that CBD can potentially be an effective complementary therapy for anxiety. So think of CBD not as a potential medicine for mental health. Instead, consider the idea that it may have a positive influence in subtle ways.

CBD Sleep Aid

For example, consider mental health benefit of proper sleep. If someone is struggling with a mental health issue, they may have a desperate need for proper rest. Or vice versa. Someone not getting enough sleep may fall into mental health issues easier. Sleep is closely connected to mental and emotional health and has demonstrated links to depression, anxiety, and other conditions.

CBD PM Softgel Capsule
CBD and melatonin are both relaxing sleep aids, but they work in different ways. CBD works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to provide overall calming and prepare your body for bed. Melatonin, however, is the natural compound your body produces to induce sleep. Together they can help you relax, fall asleep, and stay asleep for overall better rest.

You can get more information about CBD Sleep Aid here.

CBD for Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions. The World Health Organization reports an estimated 280 million people struggle with depression. There are many different factors that bring on depression, and some of the symptoms include:

  • hopelessness about the future
  • thoughts about dying or suicide
  • disrupted sleep
  • changes in appetite or weight
  • feeling very tired or low in energy

Depression can cause difficulties in all aspects of life, including in the community and at home, work and school.

Many people claim CBD eases feelings of depression. While it’s not 100% clear as to how, studies suggest it is because CBD interacts with the serotonin (5-HT)1A receptor, which may decrease abnormal excitability. There is a good amount of research on animals that show this potential. The problem is there is not enough human testing.

Note of Caution: Taking CBD while on other medications may pose a risk, which is why you should consult with your doctor. Different substances may interact and cause unwanted effects, such as weight gain, drowsiness, upset stomach and change in appetite.

How to Use CBD

You can consume CBD in the following forms:

Oils and tinctures – come in dropper bottles and are consumed by mouth
Gummies – chewable, sweet and often fruit-flavored
Capsules – taken individually by mouth
Vapes – heat CBD oil without igniting it, resulting in an inhalable vapor

There is no FDA guidance for use. It’s recommended to start in small amounts, at least in the beginning, and work your way up from there. This allows you to explore the possible benefits while minimizing the risk of side effects.

The exact milligrams per day depend on the product and yourself. “Many CBD brands recommend starting with 10 to 20 milligrams per day. From there, you can gradually increase your dosage until you feel some relief or experience an intolerable side effect. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before using any new health product, including CBD products. A CBD-friendly doctor might be able to suggest a dosage.” PsychCentral

Possible Side Effects

Just like there is not sufficient evidence to prove CBD’s worth as a mental health aid, ALL of its potential side effects are not known. CND is considered safe for consumption, but there are some reported side effects:

  • dry mouth
  • reduced appetite
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue. Since fatigue is associated with depression, it’s important to be aware of that potential side effect.
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • changes in weight or appetite

If you’d like to use CBD to treat depression, consider how it could possible interact with medication you’re currently taking. It could be dangerous to supplement antidepressant medication with CBD without first talking to your healthcare team.

CBD for Everyday Wellness

“No matter what CBD product or delivery method you choose, there is a wide range of benefits to using CBD daily. Many CBD users find that they can more easily cope with common daily stress. Others prefer to use it at specific times of day, such as before bed or after a tough workout. Regardless of the reasons people take CBD, if it’s taken regularly, many people feel that CBD helps with general wellness and calm.

These CBD benefits, though they vary from person to person, could help to support your life in many ways. When you are working to maintain good health or even your sleep patterns and you begin a CBD regimen, you may feel benefits from the CBD that spill over into your mental health. Though a bit indirect, it’s the outcome that matters most. The bottom line is whether or not you feel better.” cbdMD

Making Mental Health a Priority

If you want to try including CBD as part of your overall mental health strategy, consult with your doctor. Knowing what to take and when depends on your specific needs, and your doctor can assist.